AMD has just released coreboot support for the AMD Embedded G-Series platform, which is a major enhancement to the AMD Open Source development ecosystem. This massive release of source code includes a main patch containing AMD's AGESA and CIMx modules. These modules have over 165,000 new source lines of code and are estimated at over 500 person-months of development (SLOCCount COCOMO model). This investment makes it clear that AMD is committed to supporting its partners and customers in Open Source. With this investment, AMD is able to quickly update the coreboot community with vendor-quality code modules, which will help shorten development cycles, increase code quality, and support more features than ever before.
By providing coreboot support, AMD is able to target embedded markets in which custom bootloaders and embedded operating systems are the norm. By creating an Open Source development ecosystem, with software like coreboot and Linux drivers, as well as tools like the Sage SmartProbe JTAG debugger, AMD has enabled and empowered its customers to invent and create beyond the limitations of the traditional x86 PC market. On the technical front, the AMD Embedded G-Series Platform is a low power single or dual core APU combined with the SB800 southbridge. The coreboot patches are in two parts, the vendor code and the wrapper code. The AGESA and CIMx modules are located in a new directory specific for vendor code, and have been released under a BSD license. The wrapper code, licensed under the GPL, is located in the normal coreboot CPU, northbridge, southbridge, and mainboard directories. This code follows the coreboot style of system initialization and device tree construction. The AGESA and CIMx modules are setup and configured in the coreboot mainboard directory, and called by the wrapper code at the appropriate time during coreboot system initialization. This is an exciting time in coreboot development! AMD has released coreboot support within weeks of the AMD Embedded G-Series platform launch that contains similar modules to that which BIOS vendors receive. I expect that AMD will continue in this direction, and anticipate that coreboot will receive new silicon support, updates and bug fixes even more quickly. Marc Jones is a coreboot developer with Sage Electronic Engineering, LLC. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.